We’ve reached the last day of school. Our seniors have graduated, our 9-11th graders are finishing final exams, 8th graders are preparing to move to the high school and another class of sixth graders in preparing to move to the middle school.
Worthington is unique. We are the only school district in Central Ohio and one of the few in all of Ohio, who have K-6 elementary schools. Most Central Ohio school districts have K-5 elementary schools with 6-8 in the middle school. Some districts have K-4 elementary’s with 5-6 intermediate schools, some have stand-alone K-1 schools, 2-3, 4-5 etc… Worthington has Kindergarten through sixth grade in our schools. Sometimes we love this, sometimes….not so much.
One of the great things about our K-6 elementary schools is that students spend 7 years in one school. We are able to create very strong school communities and build deep and meaningful relationships with families. With three children, all two years apart, my family will spend 11 years in one school. That leads to investment in the school, and likewise to the school’s investment in families. It also means that the big transition in Worthington is from 6th grade to the middle school.
Tuesday night you could see these strong relationships in action at Colonial Hills Elementary when they held their 6th Grade celebration dinner. Students were invited to the school with their families in the evening to share a meal together and with the teachers and staff. Their kindergarten teachers (Mrs. Green and Mrs. Deagle) were on hand to share their reflections on the sixth grade class from when they were only 5 and 6 years old. Their former 2nd and 3rd grade teacher Mr. Forsgren (now the principal at Worthington Estates Elementary) returned to reminisce. Dr. DeRee, their now retired school principal, spoke to the students…and on and on it went.
A slide show of the students was presented and a video was shared where the students shared their favorite memory. Colonial Hills made certain that each sixth grader knew how important they were to the Colonial Hills family and that they would always be welcomed back to Colonial Hills.
A Colonial Hills mom said it best, “The sixth grade celebration last night included speeches from teachers, special memories from the kids, and a really amazing video that spanned the years of elementary school. I feel so fortunate that my son has had the opportunity to be a part of Colonial Hills Elementary and had amazing people there to invest in his life. Middle school is just around the corner, and I’m thankful for the solid foundation that CHE has provided.”
Each of our schools handles this transition differently, but each does something significant to help 6th graders transition from their long-time home in the elementary, to the middle school. The 6th graders are ready to go (they’re ready around winter break) but someday they will be able to look back on these events and understand how special they were.
Today we end the 2012-2013 school year. It’s been a great year full of positive accomplishments and significant relationships. Our plan is for next year to be even better!